Encore will finance, design, construct, install, operate, and maintain a 2.25 MW ground mounted solar project, designated Derry Solar LLC, located on a closed and capped municipal solid waste landfill owned by the Town of Derry. Once complete, the solar project will help meet the Town Council’s goal for 100% renewable energy for the Town of Derry.
The Derry NH Net Zero Task Force of professional engineers, business people, energy experts and representatives from key Town groups such as schools, Public Works, Planning Board, Code Enforcement, Conservation Committee, Economic Development, and members of the Public began working on this project over two years ago. The group collaborated on messaging and advocacy to the community, and supported the required state legislative action and obtaining buy-in from Governor Chris Sununu.
Derry Solar LLC FAQs
Why build a solar farm on an unused landfill in Derry?
Legislation (HB315) that was enacted in mid-2021 enables municipalities to build up to a 5-MW solar project. This will be a Group Net Metering deployment of a 2.2-MW system at the existing 10-acre capped landfill site with Encore Renewable Energy as the developer.
Where will the solar farm be located?
This solar panel array will be erected over about 7 acres of the 10-acre capped landfill on Kendall Pond Road, east of Route 93 bordering the Londonderry Town line.
Will surrounding homes near the solar farm experience noise, pollution, glare, electrical interference, etc. from the operating solar farm?
The Derry capped landfill must be developed carefully, adhering to specific policies and construction practices so as not to disturb contents under the protective cap. The contractor Encore Renewable Energy will be working with experienced civil subcontractor Sanborn, Head & Associates (Concord, NH), environmental subcontractor Normandeau Associates (Manchester, NH), and iSun Electrical Work & Maintenance (Williston, VT).
The project will adhere to appropriate EPA guidelines for building atop a capped landfill in the State of New Hampshire, and follow accepted best practices for mitigating solar glare and electrical interference to surrounding homes. There is generally no discernable noise emanating from operation of solar panels and equipment.
Since almost every city and town in the United States has brownfield sites, these represent an untapped opportunity for sustainable energy development on undervalued property near population centers. The EPA estimates a brownfield site, mitigated and developed, increases surrounding property values from 5 to 15%,
Why was Encore chosen for this project?
Encore Renewable Energy was selected from a group of seven firms through a competitive Request for Proposal bidding process solicited by the Town of Derry in September 2021. In addition to the energy savings for the town, the solar project will be built with no upfront costs to the community.
Does Encore have experience building solar farms on unused landfills?
Yes, Encore has over a decade of experience in brownfield and landfill redevelopment with over 17 MW installed across nine projects in several states. Learn more about our brownfield and landfill work here.
Why is it significant that Encore is a Certified B-Corporation?
Encore Renewable Energy is proud to be a certified B Corporation (B Corp). Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. Ultimately, B Corps aspire to use the power of business as a force for good to solve social and environmental problems.
Will this solar farm be one of the largest in New Hampshire?
Compared with existing private and municipal solar installations currently operating in New Hampshire, this 2.2-megawatt array is expected to be in the top (three) solar installations in the Granite State.
- City of Manchester 2022 – 3.3 MW, 8,000 solar panels
- Fidelity Investments, Merrimack – 3 MW, 8,600 solar panels
- Town of Derry (in process) – 2.2 MW, 6,474 solar panels generating 3.7M kwh/year
- Town of Hanover 2021 – 2 MW, 4,560 solar panels
- NH Electric Coop, Moultonborough – 2 MW, 8,000 panels
What happens after the contract expires in 25 years?
Encore has options to extend the contract, assuming the system is still generating its expected electricity. If the contract is terminated at 25 years, Encore must safely remove all equipment and restore the landfill as close as possible to its original state.
Can Encore sell power generated on Derry solar farm outside Derry?
No. Encore will sell 100% of electricity generated to the Town of Derry.
Any excess electricity generated in the solar farm that is not used by the Town is sold back to Eversource at the existing commercial rate, which varies by time of year. When additional power is needed (such as at night or a prolonged cloudy period), power is purchased from Eversource at the existing standard rate.
Can this solar farm be expanded if Derry’s future needs make it feasible? Such as adding the schools, Pinkerton Academy, public Electric Vehicle charging stations, etc.?
Yes. There is potential room for expansion of the project.
This solar array will power Derry’s municipal needs, but what about offering lower cost electricity to Derry homeowners?
Derry NetZero Task Force, with support of the Town Council, is monitoring developments in New Hampshire Community Power, which expands consumer choice in purchasing lower-cost electric power in their community. Community Power, authorized under NH RSA 53-E, democratizes energy governance by empowering towns, cities and counties to choose where their electricity comes from on behalf of their residents and businesses.
The Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire is in early stages of incorporation, and we continue to monitor its progress.